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One in eight CCGs predicting a deficit


22 January 2014

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One in eight clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) expect to be in deficit by the end of the year, a finance report from The King’s Fund has revealed. 
The quarterly monitoring report revealed that NHS commissioners are optimistic, however, with 61% of finance leads confident they will meet productivity targets. 
Social care has been harder hit, with more than a third (36%) of directors of adult social services expecting to be in deficit. 

One in eight clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) expect to be in deficit by the end of the year, a finance report from The King’s Fund has revealed. 
The quarterly monitoring report revealed that NHS commissioners are optimistic, however, with 61% of finance leads confident they will meet productivity targets. 
Social care has been harder hit, with more than a third (36%) of directors of adult social services expecting to be in deficit. 
Despite the financial squeeze, most NHS and social services finance directors believe quality of care has remained stable over the past year. 
However, there has been growing pessimism about delivering further savings and productivity gains in the future. 
Speaking to The Commissioning Review, Dr Steve Kell, co-chair of the NHS Clinical Commissioners Leadership Group and Chair of Bassetlaw CCG said CCGs remain optimistic about working with social care. 
But he added: "That doesn't detract from the very real financial challenges that the NHS faces.  It is essential that CCGs are given the time and space to succeed, including the resources needed to manage the increasing challenges faced by the NHS."  
A&E targets remain a top concern for CCG finance leads, but NHS trust finance directors have moved this down the list of worries. For trusts, the biggest concern is now staff morale. 
Professor John Appleby, chief economist at The King’s Fund, said: “The emerging concerns about staff morale in hospitals are very worrying as there is a proven relationship between staff satisfaction and the quality of care provided to patients.
“Despite warnings about a potential crisis in A&E, most hospitals are coping with winter pressures so far – a tribute to the hard work of staff in A&E departments. However, the growing number of hospitals set to overspend their budgets shows that for some, it is no longer possible both to maintain the quality of services and balance their books.” 
A total of 195 CCG finance leads were contacted by The King’s Fund, and 58 responded (a 30% response rate.) Between them, the finance leads covered 72 CCGs. Seventy-nine finance directors of NHS trusts and 47 directors of adult social services also completed the online survey. 

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